Wednesday, November 3, 2010

now what

now what?

what do i do with my days? people send me emails, cards, texts- "what are you doing? are you ok?" how do i answer? what can i answer? everything i can say back is a lie. am i ok? do we need help? you're sorry? what can i write back, everytime i try and open my mouth there are no words. i don't even know where to begin. when did it go wrong? a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end; it should be mathmatical and the equation should add up and make sense. there should be steps to follow, and if the answer is wrong you should just be able to check your work, see line 5 where you mixed your numbers up. you should be able to see your mistake. there's no sense in this, no misstep, no place to go back and read over your work. I keep looking back, seeing now what i should have seen then. it was the worst kind of optimism to try and think i had some control over this, that positivity would see us through.

now what? what are my days like now?

i go to work. i take care of children. on monday morning i babysat a 9-day-old infant premie. he was so tiny and perfect. when his mom got home she said, "this must be kind of exciting for you! you'll have one of these in another 6 months!" and i had to tell her. i didn't even get choked up. i just told her. i even said i was grateful in a weird way, that nature takes care of itself. then i went home and stayed in bed all day.

we went to the gym. i sat in the hot tub for over an hour, getting out and jumping in the pool every 15 minutes to make sure i didn't overheat. i sat in the steam room. listened to the asian girls talk about their boyfriends and their weekend plans. orion lifted weights, tore up muscles he didn't know he had. punished himself.

i take care of the twins i watch. hug them, read stories. yesterday we took a walk and collected leaves- made an art project. i know some people find it difficult to be around children when something like this happens, but i find it very therapeutic. i've always loved kids.

i do a lot of tuning out- i tune out pregnancy subplots on TV, i tune out songs on the radio that orion used to sing to my stomach. i tune out well meaning people who want to tell me about their sister's cousin who had a still birth baby and isn't that a lot worse than a miscarriage? i tune out other people's miscarriage stories. i tune out phrases like "it's for the best" and "thank god it happened this early" and "don't worry you can try again." i don't want to hear about anyone else's dead babies, i don't want to feel guilty that this 10 week loss has obliterated me when stronger women lose infants and get pregnant again in a month. i don't care, it doesn't make me feel better and it's starting to make me angry. please stop telling me about your dead babies and let me grieve for my own.

i pack things away. compartmentalize. leave the online group for babies due in may, join one for infant loss and miscarriage support. pack up all the pregnancy books and maternity clothes and baby stuff. hide it in our storage locker in the basement. filter emails from isabella oliver, in due time, potterybarn kids, land of nod, your preganancy this week. block suggestions. i go through my cell phone calender and organizer- delete all my prenatal appointments. all the milestones. try and forget that Thanksgiving would have been the first day of my second trimester (14 weeks) that we would have gotten our gender anatomy scan 2 days before christmas (18 weeks). i left may 25th marked. i'll deal with that later. i read books, go online and gather information: what will it feel like? will it hurt? what will it look like when it comes out? should i take cytotec, get a d&c?

that's probably the most important thing i do- try and let go. more than anything else i want to let this pregnancy end in it's own time, in its own way. i spent weeks holing it up in there for my own stupid sense of security. orion and i planned a natural birth, looked up bradley classes, talked about how we'd never induce, never force things. to do so now feels like a sham. i don't want to rip everything out in one fell swoop, pretend it never existed. i want to be respectful of the child we thought we had. it sounds crazy, i know. there's hardly a baby in there anymore. the radiology report called it "the products of conception." psychologically its driving me mad that it's still in there. nature should have released it. as much as i want to do it naturally, i know i won't make it more than a week.

so that's what i do- sit in the hot tub, lay in the steam room. try and relax myself, my muscles, my body, my heart. drink coffee, take red raspberry leaf tablets and evening primrose oil. sit with the heating pad on my abdomen. do yoga poses to encourage my cervix to open. wait. wait. wait. tell the baby i'm sorry i kept it in there so long. love my uterus, let go. encourage nature to take over. make appeals to the universe. and cry. really more than anything i cry. and i miss my baby.

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